Difference between Legal Residence and Homestead

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In South Carolina, “Legal Residence” or claiming your property as your primary residence must be requested through the Beaufort County Assessor’s office. This benefit reduces the tax rate of your real property from 6% (secondary or non-primary residence rate) to 4% (legal residence or primary residence tax rate), to include a credit on school taxes. The Assessor’s office can be reached at 843-255-2400 or assessor@bcgov.net for more information. Their Legal Residence Application can also be found on their website: Assessor Forms

The “Homestead” exemption refers to a separate application that can be applied for with our office when the qualifying individual: is either on their 66th birth year or older or is 100% totally and permanently disabled and receiving benefits from Social Security or is legally blind per a form signed by a licensed ophthalmologist; has lived in South Carolina as a full-time resident for at least one full calendar year, January 1st to December 31st; and is currently receiving the benefit of the 4% legal residence rate through the Assessor’s office. Please refer to the article "What is the Homestead Exemption benefit?" for more information.

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